The US Navy has signed a contract with Lockheed Martin to develop the giant Orca unmanned submarine. The amount of the contract is 43, 2 million dollars. The first batch of five prototypes should be ready by 2020. According to some experts, Orca will be the answer to the similar Russian project "Status-6".
Underwater drones are as important as their flying counterparts, performing many important functions. However, the current generation of unmanned underwater vehicles has only limited autonomy.
Orca will differ from them not only in impressive size. Constructed from modules, it is designed for long-distance autonomous navigation and is multifunctional. Its internal cargo compartment can be rebuilt depending on the task at hand. After being put into operation, the Kasatki will carry out an autonomous service in pairs in remote areas, periodically communicating with the control center. At the end of the mission, they will also return to the base on their own.
The main idea of the project is to reduce material costs for underwater operations without endangering sailors. Killer whales will be engaged in reconnaissance, surveillance, mine protection and perform the function of a combat simulator.